Bryson DeChambeau, Crushers GC sweep titles at LIV Golf Chicago

Bryson DeChambeau, Crushers GC sweep titles at LIV Golf Chicago
Crushers GC Captain Bryson DeChambeau wins his second individual title of the season at LIV Golf Chicago (Amy Kontras/LIV Golf)
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Updated 25 September 2023
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Bryson DeChambeau, Crushers GC sweep titles at LIV Golf Chicago

Bryson DeChambeau, Crushers GC sweep titles at LIV Golf Chicago
  • The 30-year-old American claimed his second individual title of the season, as well as captaining his team to victory
  • Crushers moved into second place in the team standings with one regular-season tournament left

SUGAR GROVE: Crushers GC Captain Bryson DeChambeau won LIV Golf Chicago in spectacular fashion on Sunday, shooting a final-round eight-under 63 at Rich Harvest Farms that was reminiscent of his record-breaking performance last month in Greenbrier when he shot a closing 58 to win his first LIV Golf title.

But the win came at the expense of one of his teammates, Anirban Lahiri, who was seeking his first victory in eight years. Lahiri, who held the lead for most of the day after overtaking 36-hole leader Sebastian Munoz, missed a par putt on the 18th hole that would have forced a playoff with DeChambeau.

“To be honest with you, I was actually sad,” said DeChambeau, who was watching from just off the green. “I really wanted him to make that so we could go battle it off in a playoff and finish it off the right way. That was the first emotion that I had.

“Secondly, you’ve got people coming over and congratulating you, and it’s just like: ‘Oh, I really didn’t feel like I won. This isn’t the normal feeling I usually have when you win a tournament.’ It was definitely a huge mix of emotions.”

DeChambeau, who started the day eight strokes off the lead, finished at 13 under while Lahiri and Ripper GC’s Marc Leishman tied for second at 12 under. Leishman, who shot 66, took second-place points via the better final-round score than Lahiri, who shot 69.

DeChambeau and Lahiri did celebrate the team victory together, as the Crushers shot a 15-under counting score on Sunday to finish at 33 under, three strokes ahead of Fireballs GC. Along with DeChambeau’s 63, Charles Howell III (67) and Paul Casey (68) contributed counting scores. Fireballs GC took second while league-leading 4Aces GC claimed third via tiebreaker over RangeGoats GC.

The victory is the second this season for the Crushers, who moved into second place in the team standings with one regular-season tournament left next month in Jeddah. The top four teams in the standings after that event will receive byes going into the Team Championship in Miami.

“This is why I love what we’re doing,” Casey said. “It’s the individual and the team element, and the individual element is rewarding to a certain level, and the team element is rewarding to a whole ’nother level. They’re different. You can’t compare them but boy, does it feel good to play good with these guys.”

Lahiri’s tie for second on the traditional leaderboard is his seventh runner-up finish in all his starts since joining LIV Golf last year. He was seeking his first victory since a pair of wins in February 2015.

He was a bogey-free four-under on his round through 14 holes, but he three-putted the 15th and 18th holes and admitted afterward: “I played really bad, to be honest. I was fighting my swing the whole day.”

Meanwhile, DeChambeau birdied seven of his last 12 holes as his putter heated up. His lengthy putt at 12 left him in disbelief, as he continued to move up the leaderboard.

“I just kept trying to hit as many fairways as I could and hit the irons close and make some putts,” DeChambeau said. “That’s ultimately just kind of what happens when I get on a roll. It just doesn’t stop. Kind of like, uh-oh, here comes the train.”

Lahiri knew his captain was playing well, as the Crushers had moved up the team leaderboard. While the team element remains a vital part of the LIV Golf competition, he knows the individual trophy remains the primary objective.

“I think all four of us would agree that you’re trying to win the tournament outright first,” Lahiri said. “At least that’s how I look at it. Anyone else who says otherwise is lying. But the team win was something that we all knew we needed to pull off, and we knew we should pull off.”

As much as DeChambeau was elated about his own performance, he was also respectful of his teammate’s disappointment.

“It’s one of those things you never want to see a teammate go through,” DeChambeau said. “But it is what it is, and I think he’s learned a lot, obviously. … Your time is coming.”

On Sunday, it was DeChambeau’s time, and he now moves to third in the individual standings, giving him a chance for the outright title next month in Jeddah along with No. 1 Cameron Smith and No. 2 Talor Gooch.

Here are the standings and counting scores for Sunday’s final round of the team competition at LIV Golf Chicago.

1. CRUSHERS GC (-33): Bryson DeChambeau 63, Charles Howell III 67, Paul Casey 68 (Rd. 3 score: -15)

2. FIREBALLS GC (-30): Sergio Garcia 67, Abraham Ancer 69, Eugenio Chacarra 69 (Rd. 3 score: -8)

3. 4ACES GC (-25): Peter Uihlein 66, Pat Perez 70, Patrick Reed 70 (Rd. 3 score: -7)

4. RANGEGOATS GC (-25): Talor Gooch 68, Bubba Watson 68, Harold Varner III 69 (Rd. 3 score: -8)

5. TORQUE GC (-23): Joaquin Niemann 68, Mito Pereira 71, Sebastian Munoz 73 (Rd. 3 score: -1)

6. MAJESTICKS GC (-22): Henrik Stenson 67, Sam Horsfield 68, Ian Poulter 72 (Rd. 3 score: -6)

7. RIPPER GC (-21): Marc Leishman 66, Matt Jones 69, Jediah Morgan 72 (Rd. 3 score: -6)

8. STINGER GC (-19): Charl Schwartzel 69, Branden Grace 70, Louis Oosthuizen 71 (Rd. 3 score: -3)

9. CLEEKS GC (-14): Richard Bland 67, Bernd Wiesberger 70, Graeme McDowell 72 (Rd. 3 score: -4)

10. SMASH GC (-11): Jason Kokrak 70, Brooks Koepka 71, Matthew Wolff 72 (Rd. 3 score: E)

11. HYFLYERS GC (-11): Brendan Steele 68, James Piot 71, Cameron Tringale 73 (Rd. 3 score: -1)

12. IRON HEADS GC (-6): Scott Vincent 70, Danny Lee 70, Kevin Na 71 (Rd. 3 score: -2)


Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India's Cricket World Cup defeat get bail

Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India's Cricket World Cup defeat get bail
Updated 14 sec ago
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Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India's Cricket World Cup defeat get bail

Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India's Cricket World Cup defeat get bail
  • Police dropped the charges and an Indian court granted bail to the students on Saturday, according to their lawyer
  • In granting bail, the court imposed a condition the students should be available when needed for the investigation

SRINAGAR: An Indian court has granted bail to seven Kashmiri students who were arrested under anti-terror laws for allegedly celebrating Australia's victory over India in the men's Cricket World Cup final last month, a lawyer said on Sunday. 

The students from an agriculture university were detained in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after one student filed a complaint accusing them of using anti-India slogans and cheering for Pakistan along with Australia after the match. 

Claimed in full but ruled in part by India and Pakistan, Muslim-majority Kashmir has seen a bloody insurrection against New Delhi for decades. Muslims in the region have in the past cheered for the competing side in India cricket matches as a way of protesting Indian rule. 

Local political leaders opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's rule over J&K had said the arrests were a way to intimidate locals using the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The act deals with inciting any unlawful activity and is punishable with seven years' imprisonment. 

Police dropped the UAPA charges and an Indian court granted bail to the students on Saturday, according to the lawyer of students, Shafiq Bhat, and a court order seen by Reuters. 

In granting bail, the local court imposed a condition that the students should be available when needed for the investigation and "shall not indulge in any anti national activity," the order stated. 

The students still face allegations under other Indian laws that related to making statements inducing public mischief. 

Australia had entered the World Cup match as clear underdogs against an all-conquering India side, who had won 10 matches in a row to storm into the final. But India was defeated in the final match on Nov. 19. 

India blames Pakistan for supporting the Muslim insurgents. Pakistan denies this and accuses India of violating the rights of Kashmir's Muslim people, a charge India rejects. 


UAE Pro League review: Al-Wasl crush Al-Bataeh to go 5 points clear of nearest rivals

UAE Pro League review: Al-Wasl crush Al-Bataeh to go 5 points clear of nearest rivals
Updated 13 min 19 sec ago
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UAE Pro League review: Al-Wasl crush Al-Bataeh to go 5 points clear of nearest rivals

UAE Pro League review: Al-Wasl crush Al-Bataeh to go 5 points clear of nearest rivals
  • Matches involving second-placed Al-Ain and third-placed Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai were postponed until Dec. 20 due to AFC Champions League commitments

Leaders Al-Wasl’s storming campaign continued with an affirmative thrashing of Al-Bataeh and Alfred Schreuder’s Al-Nasr debut finished in frustration during ADNOC Pro League’s truncated matchweek nine.

Ivorian youngster Adama Diallo’s excellent brace helped the unbeaten Cheetahs to a 4-1 victory, adding further veracity to dreams of ending their pained wait for an eighth top-flight trophy since their success in 2006-07.

Al-Wasl now hold a five-point lead, because of AFC Champions League commitments delaying until Dec. 20 second-placed Al-Ain’s match against Khor Fakkan, and third-placed holders Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai Club’s trip to continental contenders Sharjah.

A second-half penalty from 2017 AFC Player of the Year Omar Khrbin, meanwhile, saw fourth-placed Al-Wahda earn their 1-1 draw against ex-Al-Ain and Ajax supremo Schreuder’s Nasr. Jamal Maroof’s 97th-minute spot-kick for bottom-placed Hatta curtailed third-bottom Ajman celebrations in their dramatic 1-1 stalemate, while resurgent Iran starlet Mehdi Ghayedi had a hand in all four goals when Andres Iniesta’s sinking Emirates Club were beaten 4-2 by Ittihad Kalba.

UAE legend Ali Mabkhout got a brace as Al-Jazira produced a much-needed 4-1 derby beating of neighbours Baniyas.

Here are Arab News’ top picks and a talking point from the latest action.

 

Player of the week: Mehdi Ghayedi (Ittihad Kalba)

Ghayedi had gone from Asia’s golden boy, to an unfulfilled afterthought.

The diminutive attacker with magic in his boots appeared to have the world at his feet after becoming AFC Best Young Player of the Year in 2020. A switch to Shabab Al-Ahli in the following summer was meant to take his game to another level, with this pathway having previously helped send exalted compatriot Ali Karimi to Bayern Munich back in 2005.

Ghayedi’s forgettable 2021-22 season was followed by sparks of life returning to his play on loan at former club Esteghlal. These reached full luminescence in a sensational display for latest temporary employers, Kalba, during victory against Emirates.

The now 24-year-old moved onto seven goal contributions in nine league run-outs under former mentor Farhad Majidi, thanks to a well-taken brace. Added influence was supplied by winning penalties ably converted by the superb Daniel Bessa and Andres Vombergar.

Ghayedi featured in June’s inaugural CAFA Nations Cup, but has since been ignored by Iran head coach Amir Ghalenoei. If he can continue to inspire Kalba’s rise up the standings from their current ninth during a packed December, a way back in may be found for the Asian Cup.

 

Goal of the week: Adama Diallo (Al-Wasl)

A star is on the ascendancy at Zabeel Stadium.

Diallo has gone from unheralded youngster, to keeping veteran Switzerland striker Haris Seferovic out of the XI and being tipped for naturalisation by the UAE.

The 21-year-old Ivorian produced a mesmerising double in a dominant victory over dark-horses Bataeh, with the 16th-minute opener especially outstanding.

Slipped behind the midfield by Nicolas Gimenez, there was still 40 yards+ to goal from the left flank. Lightning acceleration allied with tight control took him beyond a trio of retreating Bataeh defenders, before smashing into the near post’s bottom corner.

Diallo — who later delivered a deft Fabio De Lima-esque curled finish — now sits on four strikes in eight ADNOC Pro League run-outs this season, averaging out at one every 92 minutes.

 

Coach of the week: Frank de Boer (Al-Jazira)

Frank de Boer managed to find the release valve, just as pressure began to build toward dangerous levels.

A 4-2 chasing by surging Wasl in matchweek eight left a richly talented Jazira well off the pace in eighth. Their nine-point gap to top spot remains, but impressive victory at Baniyas Stadium provides a superior gloss in fifth.

The Pride of Abu Dhabi lived up to their nickname via a virtuoso display by Mabkhout, moving onto a record-extending 213 goals in 286 top-flight run-outs with a tremendous brace.

Host left-back Joao Victor’s 34th-minute red card ensured 68 percent possession and a shot count of 24/11 favoured the visitors.

That this fine work was supplemented by ex-Fulham star Neeskens Kebano netting his second Jazira goal, a pair of assists from winger Oumar Traore and UAE matchwinner Abdullah Ramadan getting involved at club level speaks volume of the vast potential contained within De Boer’s ranks.

A generous end to 2023 in the league pits the Netherlands great against the current bottom three, in descending order. A perfect, nine-point haul — plus, progress in ADIB Cup’s quarter-finals versus bitter-rivals Wahda — would thrust Jazira right into the trophy mix.

De Boer collected ample silverware when employed as manager at Ajax and Atlanta United, despite a mixed record elsewhere.

This pedigree is unquestionable. So, too, the squad depth at his disposal.

Jazira’s foreign quintet is enviable, while six members of Paulo Bento’s victorious UAE roster hail from there.

Baniyas may have witnessed the start of another trophy charge in De Boer’s intermittently glittering managerial career.

 

Are Al-Wasl the real deal?

These are good times at Wasl.

ADNOC Pro League’s only unbeaten side have taken more points than any other in the last five matches, have triumphed in their last five outings in all competitions and swept the latest “The Best” monthly awards. They have netted six more goals than any other club and boast the joint-third meanest defence.

This form is underpinned by belief head coach Milos Milojevic can replicate in Dubai his prior double-winning campaign at Red Star Belgrade.

Wasl are, though, stung by recent memories. Strong starts under the likes of Juan Antonio Pizzi and Rodolfo Arruabarrena faded into obscurity.

The 21st century has not been kind to this storied club. But, the same was said of Sharjah ahead of 2018/19’s surprise title success.


Anthony Gordon sparkles in Newcastle win over Manchester United giving Gareth Southgate a Marcus Rashford headache

Anthony Gordon sparkles in Newcastle win over Manchester United giving Gareth Southgate a Marcus Rashford headache
Updated 03 December 2023
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Anthony Gordon sparkles in Newcastle win over Manchester United giving Gareth Southgate a Marcus Rashford headache

Anthony Gordon sparkles in Newcastle win over Manchester United giving Gareth Southgate a Marcus Rashford headache

NEWCASTLE: In Paris, many were keen to compare Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon with Kylian Mbappe. And while the young Scouser was overshadowed by his more storied opponent that night, he showed many, four days later, including Gareth Southgate, that there are few more electric forwards in English football right now.

While Marcus Rashford still edges ahead of Gordon in England squads, the time is nearing where questions must be asked about the validity of that call. On Saturday night’s evidence, Gordon is head and shoulders the man who should own England’s left.

On the day when England’s European Championship opponents were announced — they face Serbia, Slovakia and Denmark in Germany in the summer of 2024 — Gordon sparkled, providing the only goal in a dominant 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

Rashford, like many others in red, wilted in St. James’ Park’s unforgiving atmosphere.

“I couldn’t be happier with the players,” said Howe. “The performances we put in against three top teams (Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Man United) were brilliant, so that will give us confidence. Then, when we get some players back, we can push on even further.

“(An) Incredible physical and mental effort. The level of technical performance, I don’t think should be underestimated, I thought we dominated the first half and attacked really well down both sides.

“The left side of Tino, Anthony and Joelinton was really productive for us. And on the right side, I thought that was Lewy Miley’s best game for us out of the three, which is saying something given how well he played in the other two but I thought he was, especially in the first-half, excellent. He, Miggy (Almiron) and Kieran (Trippier) worked really well down that righthand side so a good balance to the team today.”

Gordon was judged by many last summer to be a player who looked an ill-fit for Newcastle’s high-intensity, high-pressing style. He’s now the main man in the Magpies’ front three after netting his sixth strike of the season. Gordon has now scored seven in his last 21 games for the Magpies, matching his goalscoring tally for the rest of his career combined.

Howe said: “From day one, when he arrived at the club, you could see the passion he had and his desire to achieve and be successful. He puts the work in every day and sometimes we have to go and get him off the training pitch.

“He was very good again up against a very good defender in (Aaron) Wan-Bissaka. Physically he was so good today, it was a really good battle between the two of them.

“I am delighted he is scoring the goals now and getting the recognition he deserves.

“I thought he played really well at the start of the season but every attacker needs to score to get that feeling and the confidence that brings. Not just the goals but he’s getting assists as well, he’s involved in match-winning moments. I thought he played really well again today. It was a brilliant cross from Kieran. A good move and good finish.”

Gordon was overlooked by Southgate for the recent England internationals, in which only Kieran Trippier was called up from the Newcastle squad. Howe thinks it’s only a matter of time before all of that changes.

“I’d agree he’s playing at a very high level and he has done for this season,” said the head coach when asked about a possible call-up.

“When you come here to watch Anthony, that’s been his level. He’s getting the goals and you need the headlines really if you’re going to force your way into the England squad and the competition he has in those positions.

“There’s a long way to go, I just think he’s got to keep very level and focused on playing well for us then the rest will take of itself.”

Another who may well force his way into Southgate’s thinking, in a very stacked and competitive department, is full-back Tino Livramento. A star in Paris in the Champions League, the youngster’s tireless running down the left was a real feature of the Magpies’ win.

Howe said: “Very good in maybe a slightly different way to Paris to when he was having to deal with (Ousmane) Dembele. He was having to play against various opponents but good opponents in Antony and Rashford but he gave them a problem going back the other way, which was great to see. His athleticism, pace, speed and positioning, although he’s playing on a side maybe not natural to him, was of the highest level.”

The only real negative to take from the encounter was yet another injury to another key player, as Nick Pope was taken off with a shoulder problem.

“It will be a massive blow for us if he is ruled out for any length of time,” said Howe. “It looked really innocuous, but that is usually the way and they are normally the more serious ones. You could see he was in distress and it looked like he dislocated his shoulder just diving.

“Martin Dubravka came on in a tricky situation with 10 minutes to go with a narrow lead, which is not nice for any goalkeeper, so I have to compliment him for doing so well.”


Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi aims to upend David Warner’s farewell Test series in Australia

Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi aims to upend David Warner’s farewell Test series in Australia
Updated 03 December 2023
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Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi aims to upend David Warner’s farewell Test series in Australia

Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi aims to upend David Warner’s farewell Test series in Australia
  • Afridi acknowledges Warner’s ‘great career’ but says he doesn’t want him to perform well against Pakistan
  • Afridi says Pakistani players have faced the 14-member Australian squad and were up for the challenge

ISLAMABAD: In a charged prelude to the upcoming Test series, Pakistan’s fiery fast bowler Shaheen Afridi has set his sights on challenging Australian batting icon David Warner, vowing to make Warner’s farewell Test series a memorable contest.

Afridi shared his bold ambitions with the media in Canberra on Sunday, just before Pakistan’s first practice session, igniting anticipation for an electrifying cricket showdown.

Afridi began by acknowledging the Australian opener’s “great career,” saying he had consistently delivered stellar performances across all three formats.

“We would wish him good luck but not hoping for a good end for David Warner in his last Test series against us,” he said with a hint of competitive spirit.

Warner made a triple century against Pakistan at Adelaide in 2019, though his recent performance in Test matches has remained mixed.

He plans to say goodbye to the format during the Pakistan series but will continue to play for Australia in white ball cricket.

“This is an important series for Pakistan as we are leading the World Test Championship’s point table at the moment,” the left-arm fast bowler said.

Having faced the majority of the recently announced Australian squad, Afridi expressed the team’s preparedness for the challenge that lies ahead.

“We have played against the recently announced Australia’s 14-member squad, and we are all up for this challenge,” he said.

“We don’t have much experience of Canberra, but I am sure this four-day match against PM XI [from Dec. 6 to 9] will help us prepare well for the series against the home team starting from Perth,” he added.

Pakistan will play the first test against Australia at Perth from Dec. 14-19.

 


Rodman’s goal caps 3-0 victory for the US women over China

Rodman’s goal caps 3-0 victory for the US women over China
Updated 03 December 2023
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Rodman’s goal caps 3-0 victory for the US women over China

Rodman’s goal caps 3-0 victory for the US women over China
  • Kilgore said about Rodman: She’s obviously a very gifted individual player and she’s looking to play more with her teammates
  • The matches close a difficult year for the US after the four-time champions were eliminated from the Women’s World Cup this summer in the round of 16, the team’s earliest exit ever

FORT LAUDERDALE: Trinity Rodman had a goal and two assists to help the US beat China 3-0 in an exhibition match on Saturday.

Sophia Smith and Lindsey Horan also scored in the first of two exhibition games against China. The second is set for Tuesday in Frisco, Texas, outside of Dallas.

The matches close a difficult year for the US after the four-time champions were eliminated from the Women’s World Cup this summer in the round of 16, the team’s earliest exit ever.

Smith scored in the eighth minute, beating China goalkeeper Xu Huan off a pass from Rodman. It was Smith’s 15th goal in 37 national team appearances.

Horan made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, striking the ball from distance before it bounced past Xu. It was her 30th goal.

Rodman capped the scoring in the 77th with an assist from Jaedyn Shaw. Rodman celebrated with a cheeky dance in front of the goal.

“She’s just being really intentional, we see that in training, we see that in games. And she’s starting to play more and more with the players around her as well,” interim US coach Twila Kilgore said about Rodman. “She’s obviously a very gifted individual player and she’s looking to play more with her teammates.”

Veterans Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alyssa Naeher and Crystal Dunn were given some time off as Kilgore focused on youth for her roster.

Among the players called up for the matches were three teenagers: Shaw, Olivia Moultrie and Alyssa Thompson. It was also the first roster appearance for Jenna Nighswonger, who plays for Gotham FC in the National Women’s Soccer League, and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Korbin Albert.

Moultrie and Nighswonger both made their US debuts as second-half substitutes.

Kilgore, an assistant under former US coach Vlatko Andonovski, chose the roster in consultation with US Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker and Emma Hayes, the new coach who will join the team in May after finishing out the season with Chelsea.

Hayes visited the team during the training camp ahead of the two final matches.

“Twila’s been doing such an amazing job in going from being an assistant coach to being the interim head coach,” Rodman said. “She’s done it so seamlessly and she has a game plan she wants us to execute. She’s so good at communicating it and she holds us to a standard.”

Veteran defender Abby Dahlkemper started against China, making her first appearance for the team in 599 days after having back surgery in October 2022.

Also returning to the starting lineup was Rose Lavelle, who hadn’t played with the team since the World Cup because of an injury. Lavelle played as a winger in Kilgore’s 4-3-3 formation.

“I think it’s so exciting to see the youth coming in and what they can bring,” Lavelle said. “I think they all have such different talents, but I think it’s coming together. It’s an exciting time.”

The Steel Roses, ranked 15th in the world, were runners-up in the 1999 World Cup, won by the US at the Rose Bowl.

Wang Jun served as interim coach for China. Former coach Shui Qingxia was dismissed after the Steel Roses failed to qualify for the Olympics.